<start> disclaimer: i was provided with the product discussed in this post free of charge from vega sport as part of the #fuelyourbetter campaign with sweat pink. i was asked to review the product and provide a review on my blog. all opinions, reviews and thoughts are 100% mine and honest based on my experiences with the product. <end> disclaimer
i didn't know it at the time of requesting to try out and review vega sport's sugar free energizer, but i now need to ween my body off of caffeine. the problem is (aside from the general complaint about not being able to use caffeine) that i really rely on a good shot of caffeine before a workout or race - most commonly in the form of an energy drink or coffee in advance. lucky for me, i was testing out vega's sugar free energizer just in time to go caffeine free for my leap immuno calm 10 week diet (although i'm not sure that i'll be able to use this while on the diet - will have to check with my nutritionist).
truth: a long time ago, i tried the vega sport pre workout energizer and i wasn't head over heels in love with it. this was well over a year ago, so i have no idea what the product is like now. but their sugar free energizer is new, and claims to have similar benefits (enhanced mental focus, increased energy and endurance boost) all within 5 calories per stick, so i wanted to try it. the vega site says the energizer is to be used prior to low intensity or short duration exercises, but i tried it across all of my normal activities to see what would happen.
how did i use it?
like i mentioned, i used it before all my normal activities: running (short, long, intense, not intense), strength training and even before a walk or something active when i felt low on energy.
how did i feel?
no weird side effects. i did feel more alert and "ready to go" during most of the times i used the product. more details below. none of the ingredients made me feel weird or jittery.
did it work?
i felt the benefits most before my strength training sessions. these happen after work, when i am almost always sluggish. i drank the sugar free energizer in the car on the way to the gym (which ends up being roughly 20 minutes before my workout, as directed). for these workouts, which are an hour long and focus on building power muscles (lower reps, higher weights), i did feel more focused and like i had more energy. i felt like i had more gusto to push through each workout.
when i drank the energizer in the morning, before a run, the effects weren't as strong as i'd hope for. i still felt a little jolt of energy, but compared to the monster energy drinks i'm used to drinking, the effect was very minimal. i would assume, that someone taking a product that is plant based, wouldn't be looking for the caffeine rush that comes with a can of monster, so the effects i felt are probably normal. just not what i'm used to!
one of my biggest complaints about the pre workout energizer i tried over a year ago was the flavor. i was delightfully surprised at how much i enjoyed the flavor of this new product. it tasted like a strong iced tea. i tried the lemon lime flavor, but there is an acai berry as well. i haven't heard any grumbles from other sweat pink ambassadors on any of the flavors thus far, so that is a huge improvement from my previous experience.
i did find that the energizer didn't always mix all the way through so i highly recommend using a blender bottle. or, you could get an awesome arm workout by vigorously shaking your normal water bottle for a few minutes ;)
so, what does it cost?
you can buy a single packet on vega's site for $1.69, or you can buy a case of 30 for $49.99 (roughly $1.66 a packet). the way i see it, i currently pay $2.39 for every can of monster that i buy, so a single packet of the vega sugar free energizer is almost a full dollar cheaper than that. that makes this pre-workout boost more cost effective than my current method.
bottom line - would i use it again?
yes, i would absolutely use this product again. i found it to be effective before strength training and when i need a little pick me up during the day or before a short run. i wouldn't use it before a long run or intense run, but again, that is not what this product is intended for, according to vega. whether or not i can use it again in the foreseeable future is up to my nutritionist, but my overall recommendation is that this is something i would incorporate into my regular workout fuel routine.
(out of 5 dumbbells possible)
overall value: 4.75/5 dumbbells
taste: 5/5 dumbbells (tastes like green tea, to me!)
effectiveness: 4/5 dumbbells (while it did help me feel more energized and focused before strength training, i didn't get a full caffeine boost like i hoped for. the product didn't promise this, but i do need more of an energy jolt to use this 100% of the time)
side effects: 5/5 dumbbells (no weird side effects)
cost: 5/5 (compared to my current caffeine methods, this is more cost effective by nearly $1)
check out fuelyourbetter.com for more information on proper workout fueling! and if you're curious about the sugar free energizer, check it out on vega's website.
have you tried any of the vega sport products? what do you think? what do you use to get a boost of energy before your workouts? are you a caffeine junkie like me??